Nobody likes to think about it, but it's important to be prepared for the worst. Disaster can strike unexpectedly, whether it be natural or man-made. If you're looking to stock up on emergency survival supplies for your business, your family, or yourself, you should know what you need, how long it will last, and how to use it when you need it.

1. What you'll need

A great place to start your planning is Ready's page on disaster kits. There you will find a full list of disaster supplies that will help you through the aftermath of an emergency. 

The most obvious of the suggestions are food and water. They suggest one gallon per person per day for at least three days and a three day supply of non-perishable food. Beyond the basics, there are several other supplies on the list, including flashlights, extra batteries, hand-crank radios, can openers, matches, fire extinguishers, sleeping bags or warm blankets, first aid kits and more. 

While it may seem like an exhaustive list, you need to be prepared for anything and everything in an emergency. In a worst-case scenario, you may be left to fend for yourself for an extended time, and things you never thought you'd need may become essential for your survival.

2. Buy in bulk

If you want to get serious about emergency survival prep, you may want to consider buying food, water, and other emergency survival supplies in bulk. Canned foods are typically your safest bet for long term storage, but you can also include things like trail mix, granola bars, and dried fruit. You should consider buying a diverse assortment of canned foods to ensure you can maintain a healthy, complete diet. Think canned fruits and vegetables, canned beans, canned meat, canned soup, and so on. 

For long term water storage, consider investing in a water filtration system, as well as large scale water storage. For example, a 55-gallon barrel of water can sustain a single person for about a month and a half if water usage is restricted to a gallon a day. For long term storage, you may want to treat the water with chlorine to prevent algae and other contaminants.

3. Other bulk items

Food and water alone will not guarantee your survival. You'll need to keep your power and electronics, fuel in your car, and what about truly long-term survival? You may even want to stock up on fruit and vegetable seeds, hunting gear, gasoline, batteries, medicine and first aid materials, and anything else that can help sustain you in the long term.